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1 Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift Nordic Environmental Law Journal 2013:1

2 Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift/Nordic Environmental Law Journal 2013:1 ISSN: Redaktör och ansvarig utgivare/editor and publisher: Gabriel Michanek Webpage (which also includes writing instructions).

3 Innehåll/Content Gabriel Michanek: Introduction 5 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation 7 Ingela Lindqvist: Privilegiebrev och urminnes hävd Vilken ställning har de enligt miljöbalken? 39 Hans Morten Haugen: What Role for Human Rights in Clean Development Mechanism, REDD+ and Green Climate Fund Projects? 51 Liz-Helen Løchen: Norges første marine nasjonalpark gir den det ønskede vern? 71 Carmen Butler och Jennie Wiederholm: Ett nytt energieffektiviseringsdirektiv i EU Vad betyder det för svensk lagstiftning? 87

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5 Introduction Gabriel Michanek, editor The eighth issue of Nordic Environmental Law Journal includes five articles. The first The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation is written by Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange. She concludes that the principle of resilience is aimed at providing moral and ecological foundation for sustainable development and a green economy; to require judges, administrators and operators of law to consider the long-term consequences of their actions on nature and on future generations, thereby achieving better conservation patterns on a case by case basis; to enlighten legislators on how domestic environmental legislation can be improved; to impose an individual and societal moral obligation to respect and improve nature, and to live in harmony with it. The article proposes a legal framework for implementation of the principle in domestic and international environmental law. Ingela Lindqvist is the author of the second article: Privilegiebrev och urminnes hävd Vilken ställning har de enligt miljöbalken? Only a few of the Swedish water operations, inter alia hydropower installations, have been subject to a permit procedure under the 1999 Environmental Code. In fact, a significant number of the water operations today rely upon very old water rights, e.g. immemorial prescription. Lindqvist analyses the significance of these older rights in relation to permit obligations and modern environmental protection requirements under the Environmental Code. The topic is of significant importance not least in relation to the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. The third article is named What Role for Human Rights in Clean Development Mechanism, REDD+ and Green Climate Fund Projects? Hans Morten Haugen analyzes whether and how human rights are integrated in the approval of projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), REDD+ (United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) and projects funded by the Green Climate Fund and other adaptation mechanisms under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the paper Norges første marine nasjonalpark gir den det ønskede vern?, Liz- Helen Løchen asks if Ytre Hvaler nasjonalpark is in compliance with the Norwegian Nature Management Act of 19 June 2009 no. 100 and fulfils the regulation that 5

6 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal creates the protected area. Furthermore, the author examines if there is compliance between law, regulation and practice, especially in situations where the decisions of the authority may directly affect the unique nature of the national park. These aspects are of great interest, especially since the challenges and conflicts one may meet for marine protected areas may be quite different from the ones met for terrestrial habitats and protected areas. Finally, Carmen Butler and Jennie Wiederholm analyses the new EU energy efficiency directive 2012/27/EU. In the article Ett nytt energieffektiviseringsdirektiv i EU Vad betyder det för svensk lagstiftning?, the new directive is compared with its predecessor, directive 2006/32/EC, which was intended to be a starting point for increasingly ambitious and specific policy towards energy savings in the EU. The central question in the article is how Sweden has transposed the 2006 directive to achieve the levels of energy savings envisioned, and how well Sweden is positioned to meet the provisions of the directive from The article provides a technical analysis of Sweden s legislative achievements with respect to the public sector and energy companies. 6

7 The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange 1 Abstract 1 This article departs from the observation of accentuated degradation of ecosystems worldwide to stress the urgency in changing the patterns of occupation of the land, production, consumption and the ecological and ethical goals of environmental conservation. Aiming to achieve these ends, this article proposes the acknowledgement of the principle of resilience in international environmental law. The principle of resilience is articulated herein based on the concept of ecological resilience; the values of land ethic; and the existing principles of international environmental law. Later, the article explains how the principle can be applied to environmental impact assessment. The article concludes that the principle of resilience is aimed at providing moral and ecological foundation for sustainable development and a green economy; to require judges, administrators and operators of law to consider the long-term consequences of their actions on nature and on future generations, thereby achieving better conservation patterns on a case by case basis; to enlighten legislators on how domestic environmental legislation can be improved; to impose an individual and societal moral obligation to respect and improve nature, and to live in harmony with it. Finally, the article proposes a legal framework for implementation of the principle in domestic and international environmental law. 1 Master of Laws in Environmental Law, Pace Law School, United States. Law Degree JD equivalent, Law School at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. This article was originally published in 30 Pace Envtl. Law Rev I. Introduction Since humankind started to get concerned about the degradation of nature, we focused our attention on the preservation of specific species of fauna and flora that, for whatever reason, inspired our attraction. Environmental laws also focused on the preservation of landscapes that distinguished themselves by their exceptional beauty, by their importance, or because they were the remains of an almost extinct ecosystem or the habitat of some almost extinct species. 2 By those means, humankind thought that, by preserving at least samples of each ecosystem and its inhabitant species, they were conserving biodiversity. However, those samples continued to suffer degradation, despite the efforts to guarantee stability and to keep their original state. By studying the causes of this phenomenon, ecologists concluded that ecosystems preserved in only a few restricted areas were collapsing because they were too vulnerable to disturbances. They noticed that this increase in vulnerability has been occurring since human occupation of land around the world increased in extension and intensity, as a result of the expansion of industrialization. But why did ecosystems get more vulnerable? Because, by preserving ecosystems in tight geographical limits, by eradicating species, by polluting the environment, and by changing environmental features humankind has reduced 2 In the United States, the preservation of specific ecosystems due to the presence of almost extinct species started in 1972, when the Endangered Species Act was enacted. 7

8 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal ecosystem resilience 3, which is understood as the capacity of an ecosystem to absorb disturbance and persist. The increased vulnerability of ecosystems causes them to suffer unpredictable changes, and, depending on the intensity of the alteration suffered by an ecosystem, those changes may turn out to be irreversible. The concept of ecosystem resilience has been giving rise to much discussion because, if ecosystems are currently vulnerable, how are they going to resist disturbances such as climate change and the rise in sea level? Considering that ecosystems will be seriously damaged 4 and that human inaction will only exacerbate such negative impacts, discussions on what should be done to restore ecosystem resilience and to avoid dreadful consequences started to emerge. Scientists concluded that, in order to restore ecosystem resilience, it is not enough to preserve the ecosystem in limited tracts of land: it is necessary to preserve the ecosystem functions, that is, the few natural mechanisms that continuously occur within an ecosystem and that are responsible for maintaining the subsistence of its inhabitant species and the function of the ecosystem as a whole. The enhancement of ecosystem resilience requires the conservation of biodiversity 5 and the preservation of ecosystems everywhere 6. The specialized literature states that the objective of preserving nature everywhere 7 could be enforced by conservation institutions that apply 3 Carl Folke et al., Regime Shifts, Resilience, and Biodiversity in Ecosystem Management, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience 119, 142 (Lance H. Gunderson et al. eds., 2009). 4 See Will Steffen et al., Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet Under Pressure (2004). 5 Carl Folke et al., Biological Diversity, Ecosystems, and the Human Scale, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 151, Folke et al., supra note 3, at 160; Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (Ballantine Books 1970) (1949). 7 Folke et al, supra note 3, at 160. adaptive governance and adaptive management techniques in order to respond more effectively to the changing needs of ecosystems management. Adaptive governance enhances an institution s capability to deal flexibly with new situations, thus preparing managers for uncertainty and surprise 8. Adaptive management is the process of learning from experience by monitoring ecosystem responses to actions taken by institutions that manage ecosystems 9. Although adaptive governance and adaptive management can be useful tools to address resilience, they are not sufficient. The achievement of resilience requires a substantial change in the way humankind relates to nature because humans are not used to compromise their activities according to the capacity of the ecosystem to support them. Humankind is used to dominate, not to coexist with, nature. The inversion of this setting cannot possibly be achieved by a simple change in management methodology: it requires a change of values. According to Aldo Leopold, nature conservation should start by understanding nature and by setting the values we want conservation to have 10. As the Law expresses, systematizes and implements the values of organized societies, it has a role to play in associating the concept of ecological resilience with ethical values for conservation, and applying these values to regulate activities that impact nature, in such a way as to reduce their negative effects on the environment. The principle of resilience developed here is envisioned as one alternative to current practices, which has proven to be ineffective to fulfill 8 Carl Folke et al., Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems, 30 Ann. Rev. Env t & Resources 441, 447 (2005). 9 Barbara Cosens, Transboundary River Governance in the Face of Uncertainty, 30 J. Land Resources & Envtl. L. 229, 238 (2010). 10 Leopold, supra note 6, at

9 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation the environmental quality targets set in the last 40 years 11. The concept of ecosystem resilience may be a new opportunity to achieve sustainability which has been pursued without great success since 1987, when the Brundtland Commission popularized the term and the definition of sustainable development 12. The Rio+20 World Environmental Jurists Event highlighted the importance of environmental law principles, as the mere creation and implementation of well-designed environmental instruments and institutions that are not guided by legal principles has proved to be insufficient to change business as usual. In this context, the principle of resilience was mentioned among the set of environmental law principles underlying practices contributing to the enhancement of environmental quality 13. The discussion on how the law can enforce new values of conservation is expected to continue after Rio+20, influencing domestic law-making and decision-making in public and private institutions alike. This work seeks to develop the role law could play in contributing to the achievement of ecosystem resilience. Therefore, adopting Aldo Leopold s view of conservation, by which the first step should be to understand nature, this article will begin with a brief explanation of the 11 Rio+20 needs to review 40 years of unfulfilled commitments and explore genuine alternatives to current practices (quoting IUCN President Ashok Khosla). Keith Ripley et al., Summary of the Nineteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, 5 Earth Negotiations Bull. 1 (2011), available at vol05/enb05304e.html. 12 U.N. World Comm n on Env t & Dev., Our Common Future, U.N. Doc. A/42/427 (Aug. 4, 1987) [hereinafter Our Common Future]. 13 Lia Demange, Messages from World Environmental Jurists, GreenLaw, available at pace.edu/2012/06/20/lia-demange-messages-from-world-environmental-jurists/ (last visited Mar. 6, 2013). ecological background to the concept of ecosystem resilience. Next, the article will consider Aldo Leopold s land ethic in order to discuss the values we should look for when implementing conservation for resilience. Regarding those values and concepts, the article consolidates and contextualizes the legal principle. This work undertakes a more detailed analysis of how the principle of resilience can be developed, presenting its foundations and suggesting ways of applying it to Environmental Impact Assessment. II. Ecological Concept of Ecosystem Resilience Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance, to reorganize itself, and persist. 14 A system is resilient when, even under impacts, it is able to retain essentially the same initial conditions, tending towards a state of equilibrium. This stable state of a system is called the basin of attraction, 15 domain of attraction, or stability domain. 16 Ecological systems have more than one stable state or basin of attraction. 17 The group of basins of attraction related to the same ecosystem is called the stability landscape. 18 When the ecosystem is already vulnerable to disruptions, and therefore less resilient, and those disruptions force the ecosystem towards the boundaries of its current basin of attraction, the ecosystem may cross a threshold, after which the ecosystem will 14 Folke et al., supra note 3, at Brian Walker et al., Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability in Social-Ecological Systems, 9 Ecology & Soc y (2004), available at vol9/iss2/art5/. 16 Folke et al., supra note 3, at 119, Walker et al., supra note 15; Craig R. Allen et al., Commentary on Part One Articles, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 3, Walker et al., supra note 15. 9

10 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal present a new basin of attraction. 19 When the ecosystem changes from one basin of attraction to another, or when the ecosystem moves towards the edge of one basin of attraction, it is understood that a change in the stability landscape has occurred. 20 In the case of change in the stability landscape, the resilience of the system can be considered the amount of disturbance the system can absorb before shifting into a different configuration, in other words, shifting to a new stability domain. 21 Instead of moving to another basin of attraction, the ecosystem can also remain in a dynamic disequilibrium in which there is no global equilibrium condition and the system moves in a catastrophic manner between stability domains. 22 Some basins of attraction are more desirable than others and, in view of this, human actors may be willing to influence the ecosystem s movement from one basin to another by reinforcing the resilience of the desirable ones and thus preventing the ecosystem from reaching the threshold of change or by reducing the resilience of the undesirable basin of attraction. This collective capacity of the human actors in the system to manage resilience is called adaptability. 23 There are some circumstances in which the ecosystem will not be able to return to a basin of attraction, even with aid from human interference. These cases of irreversibility of the ecosys- 19 C. S. Holling, Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 19, 29, Walker et al., supra note Lance H. Gunderson et al., The Evolution of an Idea the Past, Present, and Future of Ecological Resilience, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 423, C. S. Holling, The Resilience of Terrestrial Ecosystems, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 67, Walker et al., supra note 15. tem status may occur because of changes in the composition of soil or air. 24 Human management of natural elements is traditionally directed towards the maintenance of the ecosystem s stability. 25 This view of human interactions with the natural world focuses on equilibrium states, on maintaining a degree of constancy by reducing natural variability. 26 The relationship between stability and resilience represents the natural cycle of any ecosystem: the movement from a stage of slow accumulation of natural capital (stability) towards sudden changes, and releases and reorganization of that released capital (resilience). 27 Like two sides of a coin, both stability and resilience are essential to maintain the ecosystem. Besides providing the accumulation of capital, stability allows the different elements of the ecosystem (i.e. species of fauna and flora) to enhance their organization and connectedness. On the other hand, resilience reduces the connectedness and organization of the elements of the ecosystem and releases the stored capital, thereby providing opportunities for change, whereby species can reorganize themselves and find new connections among each other, resulting in the evolution of the ecosystem as a whole. The dynamics of ecosystem organization are very similar to the dynamics of technological development, as pointed out by Brooks, as a particular technology matures, it tends to become more homogenous and less innovative and adaptive. Its very success tends to freeze it into a mold dictated by the fear of departing from a successful formula 28 The sudden change that 24 C. S. Holling, Engineering Resilience versus Ecological Resilience, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 58; Folke et al., supra note 3, at 51, Holling calls this tendency engineering resilience. Holling, supra note Allen et al., supra note 17, at Holling, supra note 24, at Holling, supra note 22, at

11 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation occurs during resilience stimulates the ecosystem to break the inertia and to innovate. As the interchanges between stability and resilience play such an important role in the maintenance of ecosystems, human management of ecosystems, which tends towards the abolition of disturbances, is greatly disadvantageous. By trying to avoid disruptions such as floods or fires, humans contribute to the construction of more vulnerable ecosystems, which are expected to suffer even greater crisis after longer periods of time. Holling mentions an enlightening example about the fire-combat in national parks in the United States. 29 According to him, the suppression of forest fire has been remarkably successful in reducing the probability of fire ( ) but the consequence has been the accumulation of fuel to produce fires of an extent and cost never experienced before. 30 Along the same line of reasoning, it is also recognized by Leopold that human control over the health of the land has not been successful. 31 Leopold understands land as the community that includes soil, water, plants, and animals, 32 and health as the capacity of the land for internal selfrenewal; 33 therefore, very similar to the current meaning of resilience. According to Leopold, the land is sick when soil loses its fertility, or washes away faster than it forms, and when water systems exhibit abnormal floods and shortages. 34 The disappearance of plants and animal species without visible cause despite efforts to protect them, and the irruption of others as pests despite efforts to control them 35 are symptoms of the illness of the land. 29 Id. at Id. 31 Leopold, supra note 6, at Id. at Id. at Id. at Id. at 273. The loss of biodiversity is both a symptom and a cause of land sickness. Every ecosystem contains a few functions which are essential for the maintenance of the ecosystem s main characteristics. Those few functions are developed by a wide range of species. Therefore, each function is developed concomitantly by several species, and this is called redundancy. 36 Redundancy of function adds to the stability of systems because, even if the system loses one or a few species, it may keep functioning if at least one of the species responsible for that function remains. However, although the function remains and the ecosystem maintains its main characteristics, the ecosystem has lost resilience, because it is relying on one species only to develop that function. This phenomenon explains why the ecosystem keeps working although it is very vulnerable to disturbances. It also explains why an ecosystem that has survived the extinction of several species suddenly collapses when the last species developing a certain function becomes extinct. The system also loses resilience by the loss of species because the range of possible connections among species is diminished as are the possible ways the system can reorganize after disturbance. 37 By presenting fewer possibilities to innovate, the system loses much of its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that humans reduce ecosystem resilience by removing whole functional groups of species; by altering the magnitude, frequency, and duration of disturbance regimes to which the biota is adapted; and by polluting the environment, thereby changing the dynamics of climate and the composition of water, soil, and air Allen et al., supra note 17, at 14, Garry Peterson et al., Ecological Resilience, Biodiversity, and Scale, in Foundations of Ecological Resilience, supra note 3, at 167, Folke et al., supra note 3, at

12 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal However, just as human actors can interfere in ecosystems and reduce their resilience, in the same way they can contribute to the preservation of resilience by adopting a conservationist approach towards nature. According to Leopold, conservation is a state of harmony between men and land ( ) Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. ( ) The land is one organism. Its parts, like our own parts, compete with each other and co-operate with each other. ( ) You can regulate them cautiously but not abolish them. 39 Therefore, Leopold considers the first principle of conservation to be the preservation of all the parts of the land mechanism. 40 In this context, parts of the land mechanism may be interpreted as functions of an ecosystem. As scientific evidence points out that those functions are assured by biodiversity, Folke, Holling, and Perrings affirm that the conservation of biodiversity cannot be restricted to limited protected areas; it should be addressed everywhere. 41 The authors explain that, although preserving biodiversity through nature reserves may be an important short-term step, it is not sufficient to solve the problem of biodiversity loss, because nature reserves are embedded in larger environments and species depend on the reserves surrounding area to maintain themselves. According to Askins, small reserves lose their distinctive species if they are surrounded by a hostile landscape. 42 Ecologists highlight some measures they deem efficient for the preservation of ecosystems resilience. Leopold considers that the first step towards preserving ecosystem resilience is the collection of data about how a healthy land maintains itself as an organism. 43 By having this base datum of normality, science may detect what is occurring otherwise which might provide the causes for such change. 44 The author points out some characteristics of healthy lands already abundantly proved by Paleontology: in healthy lands, wilderness maintains itself for immensely long periods; species are rarely lost; and soil is built by weather or water as fast as or faster than it is carried away to the sea. 45 The author also calls attention to the fact that each biotic province needs its own wilderness for comparative studies of used and unused land, as it is impossible to study the physiology of one landscape and apply those findings as a basis for comparison with the current status of a distinct landscape. 46 Folke, Holling, and Perrings consider that, in order to conserve ecosystem resilience, it is necessary to identify the major social and economic forces that are currently driving the loss of functional diversity, and to create incentives to redirect those forces. They propose this to be done in two ways: by the creation of economic incentives that internalize the external costs of biodiversity loss; and by the adoption of measures that apply the idea of preserving biodiversity everywhere to economic analysis. According to them, we should be stimulating the development of institutions, policies, and patterns of human consumption and production that work in synergy with ecosystem functions and processes. 47 Referring especially to institutions, Folke, Holling, and Perrings consider the development of effective institutions for biodiversity conservation as a precondition for the creation of incen- 39 Leopold, supra note 6, at 189, Id. 41 Folke et al., supra note 5, at Id. (quoting R. A. Askins, Hostile landscape and the decline of migratory songbirds, 1957 Sci. 267). 43 Leopold, supra note 6, at Id. 45 Id. 46 Id. 47 Folke et al., supra note 5, at

13 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation tives to prevent the loss of functional diversity. Those institutions should be adaptive, which means that they should be able to respond to environmental feedback before those effects challenge the resilience of the resource base and the economic activities that depend on it. 48 III. The Land Ethic Aldo Leopold s land ethic opposes theories that consider nature as an object totally submitted to human scrutiny. The idea of nature as an object dates back to Modernity, when, due to the advance of science, humans became able to overcome obstacles to their development posed by nature 49 and they acquired the belief in their superiority over other species and over nature. According to Christian belief, by altering the land, planting, fertilizing the soil and erecting buildings, humans are complementing God s creation and assuring prosperity 50. It is by working the land that humans get title to property, both over the land and over the results of human work. According to this view, nature is no more than storage of resources 51, whose use by humans is unrestricted. In the post-war world people became aware that the planet contains limited resources; and that those resources are showing signs of exhaustion. From then on, humans started to consider how vulnerable the planet they depend upon is and, consequently, how vulnerable is the continued existence of the human race 52. Aldo Leopold represents a generation that became aware of the harm humans can cause to nature by willing to dominate it. Trying to com- bat the causes of human destructive behavior in relation to nature, Leopold advocates the adoption of an ethical treatment of nature, in which humans would express their love and respect for nature. Leopold sees ethics as the tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation, which ecologists call symbiosis 53. This ethic started by being associated with the relationship between individuals. Later it evolved to include the relationship between individuals and human society. According to Leopold, a further extension of ethics to include the relationship between individuals and land, fauna and flora is an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity 54. Land has been just a property to humans; their relationship has been strictly economic, entailing privileges but no obligations 55. The extension of ethics to natural elements requires a change in the human position: from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it 56. The conqueror selects which species he deems relevant and which he does not, thereby eliminating species whose function within the ecosystem he does not fully understand. The result is usually catastrophic, because often the realization that certain species had a main role within the ecosystem often occurs when the species is already eliminated from that environment. By becoming members of the land-community, humans get in harmony with nature, and this is what Leopold considers to be the meaning of conservation 57. Leopold acknowledges that we probably are 48 Id. 49 François Ost, A Natureza às margens da lei 30 (Joana Chaves trans., Instituto Piaget ed. 1995). 50 Id. at 64 (according to François Ost, when the biblical chapter Genesis says such statement, it is discretely authorizing humans to possess parts of nature). 51 Id., at Id. at Leopold, supra note 6, at 238; see also Ost, supra note 49, at 290 (stating that the land humans exploit and pollute is much more than an object, in fact, it is the mother-earth, with which we live in symbiosis). 54 Leopold, supra note 6, at Id. 56 Id. at Id., at 189,

14 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal not going to achieve full harmony with the land. He places such a goal among other aspirations such as absolute justice or liberty for people, which are important to strive for, but not necessarily achievable 58. The establishment of an ethical relationship with land requires love, respect and admiration and a high regard for land s value. A person cannot love, respect and admire something he or she does not know. 59 That is why the land ethic requires some understanding of ecology and of education for conservation, aimed at building ethical support for land economics. 60 The author believes that, if this is set in place, conservation will naturally follow. 61 It also requires social approbation of right actions and social disapproval of wrong actions. According to Leopold, the path to determine the right and the wrong actions is the following: [Q]uit thinking about decent land-use as solely an economic problem. Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. 62 Without an ethical relationship with nature, conservationists are obliged to look for economic values to justify efforts to conserve natural elements. 63 Therefore, people strive to identify how a function developed by certain species can help human economic activities and how the loss of such service provided by nature would harm the economy. 58 Id. at Leopold, supra note 6, at Id. 61 Id. 62 Id. at Id. According to Leopold, conservation directed by the market does not cover species that are not useful to the economy, either because their function is still unknown or because their function supports the ecosystem as a whole, but not a specific human activity. This can result in their extinction and therefore in increased vulnerability of an ecosystem. 64 Another problem of conservation as driven by markets is that it does not provide an education for conservation or a sense of right and wrong. People take measures towards conservation as long as they are going to receive something in return. As soon as the economic incentive is withdrawn, the conservation measure is discontinued. The individual who receives a payment to contribute to conservation is driven by self-interest, not by a sense of obligation or by the sense that it is the right thing to do. 65 Leopold believes that expecting that governments will be able to promote conservation everywhere through economic incentives or even with traditional regulation is to raise expectations to a level that exceeds governments possibilities. In such a context, by internalizing in people the sense of right or wrong in relation to nature, the land ethic would promote conservation even where governments cannot reach 66. IV. Ecosystem Resilience in the Law The law is the system employed by organized societies to declare, systematize and implement the essential values of a society. As mentioned by François Ost, the law operates by systematically considering all relevant points of view, putting them in proportion and comparing them. 67 Most importantly, in an ideal situation, the law is capable of taking into account all pertinent facts and 64 Id. at Id. at Id. at Ost, supra note 49, at

15 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation divergent interests, balancing them, and reaching a reasonable and desirably just decision. The capacity to balance divergent interests in the formulation of policies and decisions by agencies has been enhanced by public participation in decision making. Although public participation is necessary for democratic governance and for preventing social and environmental damage caused by the implementation of ill-planned policies, mechanisms for public participation are mostly not binding and are restricted to the procedural obligation of hearing divergent interests. Therefore, the agency usually is obliged to hear the interested parties, but not to take their concerns into account when reaching a decision; this obligation remains exclusively reserved to the Judicial branch. Even when substantive public participation in agency decision making is provided, it does not guarantee the defense of interests of those who are not present in the process: nature itself and the future generations. The law can ensure representation of those interests during its weighing and balancing process, if so directed by a legal principle. Due to the need to enforce consideration of all the interests at stake and the interest of nature itself and of future generations, management for resilience cannot be implemented solely by agencies and executive planning and procedures; it requires the guidance of a legal principle and enforcement by the Judicial branch. a) The origins and content of the principle of resilience The concept of ecological resilience radically changes the manner by which humankind manages natural resources because it annuls the premise that management should seek stability. In order to guide the public administration and individuals in dealing with this change of mindset, this article proposes consolidation of the principle of resilience as a new principle of international law. The foundations of the principle of resilience already exist in International Environmental Law: they lie within binding and non-binding international instruments. However, the principle of resilience must be acknowledged and must become an independent principle in order to guide humankind on how to stop degradation of global nature and how to attend to growing population needs in the context of climate change and other natural disturbances in a manner that will stop degradation and strengthen global nature. Systematizing a new principle to address ecosystem resilience is important because principles of international law designate fundamental legal norms and values that should be pursued by the whole international environmental law system. 68 Principles also indicate essential characteristics of legal institutions, and provide the rationale for the law and the general orientation to which positive law must conform 69. The principle may be included in States practices and in national laws, and may be referenced by judges as guidance for interpreting or filling the gaps in national or subnational law. 70 It provides a framework for negotiating and implementing new and existing agreements and may be incorporated in legally binding international instruments. Moreover, it provides the rules of decision for resolving transboundary environmental disputes. Finally, the principle may assist the integration of international environmental law into other fields of international law. 71 But what would be the meaning of the principle of resilience? 68 See Alexandre Kiss & Dinah Shelton, Guide to International Environmental Law 89 (2007). 69 See id. 70 Id. 71 David Hunter et al., International Environmental Policy 469, 470 (2007). 15

16 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal The ecological concept of resilience mandates the preservation of biodiversity and the preservation of nature everywhere. Preserving biodiversity for resilience is necessary in order to keep the functions of the ecosystem working with their original quality. Therefore, resilience requires biodiversity to be preserved in its original habitat by a sufficient number of individuals of each species to ensure the execution of the ecosystem function they are responsible for. 72 The goal of preserving nature everywhere does not mean the maintenance of some natural resources everywhere; it means the preservation of the whole land mechanism everywhere. The concept of resilience is based on the idea that every land mechanism which includes fauna, flora and inanimate elements is important to keep the ecosystem resilience. Therefore, such thinking requires a much more complex and broader view of conservation than the one currently applied to non-reserve-protected areas, where environmental law is very segmentally applied to preserve some individual endangered species or just the inanimate elements of the environment (soil, water and air). As conservation seeks to preserve very complex structures such as ecosystems, it is not possible to attribute to conservation a simplistic or segmented view. Conservation for resilience must consider the interconnections between the various components of an ecosystem and it must include in the concept of land not only the forests and preserved landscapes, but also the landscapes intensely modified by humans. 72 Referring to the preservation of biodiversity, it is interesting to read a passage of Aldo Leopold speaking about the extinction of species: When the species is gone we have a good cry and repeat the performance. We console ourselves with the comfortable fallacy that a single museum-piece will do, ignoring the clear dictum of history that a species must be saved in many places if it is to be saved at all. Leopold, supra note 6, at 194. The dichotomy that determines a place for nature, where conservation is needed, and a place for humans, where conservation is not needed, must be abolished. Humans are part of nature and nature must be preserved everywhere, keeping the ecosystem functions alive. If the garden of every house in a city contains individuals of native species, the fauna and flora present in each garden may interconnect with each other and keep the functions which make that ecosystem unique. The wider the area where nature is conserved and the more connections with fauna and flora are kept, the more resilient the ecosystem will be. This work adopts the values promoted in land ethic as the guiding values for conservation for resilience. Therefore, the principle of resilience is guided by the aspiration of getting in harmony with the land all the land, not just some elements of it. This principle also includes social approbation of actions that tend to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community, and social disapproval for actions that tend otherwise. The principle refuses to address land-use as a solely economic issue and to rely only on the government or on the market to take conservation measures. The principle of resilience recognizes humans as members of the land-community not conquerors of it who should get to know the land mechanism as much as possible, in order to respect and love the land. 73 This article interprets the land ethic as requiring humans to enhance the land mechanism the maximum they can, and not to merely prevent and mitigate the aggressions imposed upon nature that the law mandates individuals to address. By improving the environment wherever possible, we humans demonstrate that we are conscious of the burden we inflict on the land 73 Id. at

17 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation mechanism; we respect the land mechanism that supports our existence; and we assume our ethical responsibility to aid the land mechanism in any way we can in return for what it provides us. This duty is not only individual, but also societal. That means that besides the legal obligation to do no harm to the environment, humans have the ethical obligation to improve environmental quality. The ethical obligation to live in harmony with the environment and to improve environmental resilience can be characterized as an ethical principle because: 74 it is general in form, meaning that its applicability is not restricted to a limited group of people, rather, it is addressed to the global audience; it is universally applicable to all moral agents, meaning that the rule cannot defeat itself if everyone attempts to comply with it; it is intended to be applied disinterestedly, meaning that compliance with the principle is required even when it is against the moral agent s interest; it is advocated as a principle for all to adopt, meaning that whoever adopts it approves its adoption by all others; it overrides all nonmoral norms or concerns. One of the major aims of the principle of resilience is to provide guidelines for a governmental policy pursuant of the maxim: Do not solely mitigate: improve. In order to improve the environment and at the same time ensure essential economic activities, the principle of resilience will push governments towards innovative environmental management solutions that proportionately balance environmental and economic activities, in order to do not prioritize one interest and suffocate the other. Such solutions provide new guidelines for the operation of the law. 74 Paul W. Taylor, Respect for Nature (Princeton Univ. Press Publ. 1986). Incorporating the background provided by ecology and ethics, the principle of resilience can be established as follows: The land mechanism has inherent value. Every person has the right to use natural resources as long as such use does not impair the use by others or the persistence of the original setting of mutually reinforcing processes and structures of an ecosystem. Every person has the moral duty to respect nature and to pursue a way of living in harmony with the land mechanism. In order to ensure ecosystem resilience to natural or human-made disturbances, the human management of natural or urban landscapes shall preserve ecosystem functions through: the preservation of all species everywhere; the preservation of natural cycles; and the preservation of chemical composition of soil, air and water. The lack of scientific understanding regarding the function of land mechanisms and the role developed by single species in such mechanisms shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to enhance ecosystem resilience. States shall ensure that the younger generation receives education on the function of natural mechanisms and that the government officials receive training in identifying human activities and natural phenomena that may impact ecosystem resilience. Governments are responsible for identifying the factors that put ecosystem resilience at risk and addressing such factors. Management for resilience requires the adoption of adaptive management techniques, or other techniques that comprise monitoring of results, evaluation of policy performance and review of policy measures according to the assessment of results and changes of circumstances. 17

18 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal Patterns of production and consumption in synergy with ecosystem function shall be stimulated. The resilience of ecosystems shall be considered in the assessment of costs and benefits of any activity or policy that affects the environment. b) The principle of resilience in International Environmental Law Basic elements of the principle of resilience are already present in international environmental law. The Preamble of the Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 1972, recognizes that protection and improvement of the human environment is the duty of all Governments. 75 The enhancement of resilience is a matter of protecting and improving the environment and that is why Governments have the duty to consider resilience when managing natural resources. Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration declares that [m]an bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations. 76 Therefore, the duty to improve the environment is not solely governmental, but also individual. The first part of Principle of the Stockholm Declaration highlights the role education 75 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Swed., June 5 16, 1972, Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Preamble, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.48/14/Rev.1 (June 16, 1972), available at asp? documentid=97&articleid=1503 [hereinafter Stockholm Declaration]. 76 Id. 77 Id. ( Education in environmental matters, for the younger generation as well as adults, giving due consideration to the underprivileged, is essential in order to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in protecting and improving the environment in its full human dimension. ). for conservation has to play in protecting and improving the environment. The World Charter for Nature, 1982, 78 contains several elements of the principle of resilience. Among the principles of conservation, it proclaims that: Preamble: every form of life is unique, warranting respect regardless of its worth to man, and, to accord other organisms such recognition, man must be guided by a moral code of action 1. Nature shall be respected and its essential processes shall not be impaired 4. Ecosystems and organisms shall be managed to achieve and maintain optimum sustainable productivity, but not in such a way as to endanger the integrity of those other ecosystems or species with which they coexist 6. In the decision-making process it shall be recognized that man s needs can be met only by ensuring the proper functioning of natural systems 9. The allocation of areas of the earth to various uses shall be planned, and due account shall be taken of the physical constraints, the biological productivity and diversity and the natural beauty of the areas concerned. 10. (d) Non-renewable resources which are consumed as they are used shall be exploited with restraint, taking into account the compatibility of their exploitation with the functioning of natural systems. 11. (d) Agriculture, grazing, forestry and fisheries practices shall be adapted to the natural characteristics and constraints of given areas; 11. (e) Areas degraded by human activities shall be rehabilitated for purposes in accord with 78 World Charter for Nature, G.A. Res. 37/7, U.N. Doc. A/ RES/37/7 (Oct. 28, 1982). 18

19 Lia Helena Monteiro de Lima Demange: The Principle of Resilience: Concept and Foundation their natural potential and compatible with the well-being of affected populations. 15. Knowledge of nature shall be broadly disseminated by all possible means, particularly by ecological education as an integral part of general education. 19. The status of natural processes, ecosystems and species shall be closely monitored to enable early detection of degradation or threat, ensure timely intervention and facilitate the evaluation of conservation policies and methods. 79 The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992, recognizes that human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature. 80 At Principle 4, the Declaration determines that environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it. At Principle 8, the Declaration guides States to reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. 81 The need to build ecosystem resilience not only to reduce the risk of disaster, but also due to its importance in providing sustainable livelihoods, flow of goods and services and reducing vulnerability to climate change is expressed in the United Nations, 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. 82 The principle of sustainable development requires the current generation to meet its needs without compromising the ability of future gen- 79 Id. 80 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, Braz., June 3 14, 1992, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, U.N. Doc. A/ CONF.151/26 (Vol. I), Annex I (Aug. 12, 1992) [hereinafter Rio Declaration]. 81 Id. 82 U.N. Int l Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat, 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (2009). erations to meet their own needs. 83 This idea requires humankind to stop exploiting natural resources at a rate greater than their capacity for regeneration, the so called sustainable yield. However, despite the recognition of sustainable development as a basic principle of environmental protection and national planning, humans still consider that they have the right to take from nature a little more than the sustainable yield threshold, thereby gambling with nature. The sustainable development movement did not fully succeed in inserting in people s minds the idea that ensuring continuity of natural resources is more important than individual comfort and short-term profit. Neither has it yet convinced people that personal ambition has to yield in face of environmental limitations, or else the survival of future generations will be at risk. By trying to please all concurring interests at once, the sustainable development movement did not make it clear that, in order to keep the health of the land, humans often need to prioritize values and goals, which not so rarely will result in restricting economic activities and economic growth where the land mechanism cannot support it any longer. The implicit meaning commonly attributed to sustainable development by business and even by countries is that private initiative will protect the environment as long as such protection does not impair economic activity. While the sustainable development movement succeeds on raising awareness about the need to conciliate environmental protection and development, it fails to provide guidance on the following ethical questions: when economic activity and environmental protection cannot be conciliated, which interest should be prioritized and under what circumstances? The vacuum left by the concept of sustainable development is repeatedly filled by business interests, whose 83 Our Common Future, supra note

20 Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift 2013:1 Nordic Environmental Law Journal answer to the above mentioned question is: economic growth ALWAYS has priority over environmental protection concerns. Such an omission leaves the establishment of priorities to be determined on a case by case basis, with no overarching directive guideline. Thereby, the legal framework has assigned an equal treatment both to environmental and economic interests. However, such equal treatment hides a fundamental injustice when one considers that environmental and economic interests are not balanced because the latter counts on much greater political power. Therefore, following the lesson given by Aristotle, the aspiration for justice requires the law to treat equally the equals and unequally whoever is in an unequal position. 84 The promotion of justice a primary function of the legal system can be enhanced by the principle of resilience, which fills the vacuum of the sustainable development concept by advocating that ecosystem resilience and continual provision of ecological functions must be preserved even if it requires a reduction of economic growth and profits. Thus, the principle of resilience prioritizes environmental protection, artificially balancing a naturally unbalanced situation. By correcting an ongoing injustice in the management of natural resources and planning for development, the principle of resilience improves the legal system as a whole. The principle of resilience does not acknowledge rules for prioritizing concurring interests solely because it is necessary to enforce sustainable development under an ethical and legal point of view: it does so also because it is a factual necessity. Human society has to learn how to develop socially and manage natural re- 84 José Afonso da Silva, Curso de Direito Constitucional Positivo 213 (25th ed. 2005) (quoting Aristotle, Éthique à Nicomaque, in 6 Politique 1131a (Marcel Prélot trans., PUF Publ., 1950)). sources without relying on economic growth. 85 Considering the green economy s goal to generate wealth through sustainable exploitation aiming to eradicate poverty, 86 the idea of developing without growth should apply to developed countries and countries that have already accumulated enough wealth to combat poverty. The green economy cannot be green if deprived of the understanding that the economy should be kept in a steady state if economic growth cannot be achieved within the limits imposed by the sustainable yield of natural resources. The concept of intergenerational equity focuses on future generations as rightful beneficiaries of environmental protection. It encloses the notion of fairness both among individuals of the present generation and between present and future generations. The concept of intergenerational equity is composed of three elements: conservation of the diversity of natural and cultural resources by maintaining alternative resources within each category; conservation of environmental quality by preventing the exhaustion of higher quality resources; and equitable or nondiscriminatory access to Earth s resources. 87 As for the conservation of diversity and the quality of resources, the aim is to implement equitable access to resources so as to guarantee to future 85 See generally Peter A. Victor, Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster (2008); Tim Jackson, Sustainable Development Commission, Prosperity Without Growth? The Transition to a Sustainable Economy (2009); Andrew Simms & Victoria Johnson, New Economics Foundation, Growth Isn t Possible (2010), available at org/publications/growth-isnt-possible. 86 U.N. Envtl. Programme, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication 548 (2011), available at org/greeneconomy/greeneconomyreport/tabid/29846/ Default.aspx. 87 Edith Brown Weiss, Implementing Intergenerational Equity, in Research Handbook on International Environmental Law 100, 100 (Malgosia Fitzmaurice et al. eds., 2010). 20

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